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More than mobile: how rapidly diversifying telcos can avoid critical overload and downtime

In the first of Information Age and ITRS Group's 'how to avoid an outage series', we explore how diversifying telcos can avoid critical overload More than mobile: how rapidly diversifying telcos can avoid critical overload and downtime image

How can telcos avoid downtime?

As industry rivals go, telecoms businesses are among the fiercest and most competitive. For key players, the race to win market share is never ending and the finish line seems nowhere in sight. And although you might be in the mindset that a little competition never hurt anyone, for telcos, this environment could leave entire IT systems down and out.

The entire telecoms industry is currently underpinned by an innately complex infrastructure. With an incredibly high number of low volume transactions occurring every millisecond, the nature of telecoms networks and how they function make them inherently vulnerable to glitches. What can start as an infrastructure issue is then rapidly complicated by a number of variables, including poor capacity planning and change management.

Today’s landscape of fierce telco expansion and competition has added another layer to the complexity. As we continue to consume information in more diverse ways, telecoms businesses are rapidly expanding into unchartered territory to meet consumer demand. As they extend their reach to new areas like gaming, television and streaming companies, their increasingly diversified network becomes harder to manage.

With new services being brought online all the time, not to mention adjustments being made to existing services round-the-clock, a minor error could mean entire IT systems go down and stay down for a number of hours. Because telcos have millions of data points, just one system change by one person in one area can have a domino effect. Yet, while the race to the top intensifies, the focus on maintaining a healthy IT estate across all services could be side-lined, increasing the entire industry’s vulnerability to downtime.

IT outages: The actual cost and how to prevent it becoming a reality

IT outages have become a part of everyday life. They can affect every business, regardless of sector or size. Read here

So far, significant human resources have been thrown at the IT departments of leading telcos in vain. It simply isn’t a problem that can be solved by people alone. With different disparate data all flooding in at the same time, it can be difficult for humans to make sense of what’s going on in the estate environment. If there are a million flashing lights, firms need to be able to know which one is important. Meaning, without a complete overview of the entire estate at all times, individual telcos are constantly putting themselves at risk of systems failures.

ITRS Synthetic Monitoring provides organisations with the ability to monitor websites, applications and APIs, delivering visibility into the performance and availability of critical systems.

Telcos need to identify issues before they effect the user. By gathering information across technology, operational and organisational silos telcos can make well informed decisions with the necessary insight to predict, detect and address issues before services are impacted.

In order to draw accurate conclusions and avoid downtime, manual processing is inadequate and the right technology is crucial. By on-boarding a comprehensive estate monitoring system, telcos can suppress the white noise and hone in on what’s valuable. In this way they can gain insight ahead of time and pre-empt system failures.

As telco investment continues, the c-suite needs to take responsibility for knowing if their underlying technology will be able to cope with the increase in demand. Not only that, but plans need to be in place for a disaster scenario where critical infrastructure does fail. Without this, telcos could find themselves racing to the bottom, instead of the top.

Written by Casey Zandbergen, head of global strategy at ITRS Group

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